Friday Miscellanea

Anthony Recker, for no particular reason.

Anthony Recker, for no particular reason.

I’m doing the sportswriter-mailing-it-in impression today and writing a post of snippets about unrelated sports things.  It has been an exhausting week.

  • Must read: this graphic essay on The Toast about why sports are awesome. Will be particularly enjoyable for our sizeable hockey fan contingent.
  • Also must read: our own Nicole’s article about the WWII Girls Baseball Living History League, which she recently joined. I am really, really bad at playing baseball, but if there was a New York branch of this I’d endure the humiliation of being unable to catch or hit (I can throw semi-okay) to participate.
  • Somewhat related to baseball history: Baseball Nation’s been photoshopping photos of new-ish stadiums to look like retro postcards. They did Busch III today, but I think my favorite so far is Citizens Bank Park.
  • NYC (along with I think, LA and Dallas?) Time Warner customers are currently enduring a standoff between TW and CBS. CBS is trying to push their luck with ads pointing out that TW customers will be unable to watch the PGA Championship this weekend or their preseason football coverage. Unfortunately for them, it’s hard to threaten “no NFL” coverage when LA has no team and the NYC team in question is the Jets.
  • Also, I refuse to watch pro football before Labor Day, as it is prime baseball season. The Cards haven’t had an off day in almost three weeks and I have at least checked in on every single game (which of course means they started losing a bunch). My boyfriend is streaming the Saints game right now and I’m pointedly not looking at the TV. Related: this might be why I’m usually not prepared for the fantasy football draft.
  • Peanuts and The Simpsons: both good at baseball math. I appreciate this, as I love both of these cultural whatevers, and the improbability of the football scenes in Friday Night Lights still distracts me from the overall awesomeness of the show.
  • Some of you know that I’ve been basically teaching my boyfriend to love baseball during the course of our relationship (for four years as of this weekend – Happy Anniversary, babe!). This week, while watching the Dodgers-Cards series, the instant Jerry Hairston came up to bat, he immediately identified him as “that guy I hate.” While with the Brewers, Jerry’s habit of stepping out of the box after every pitch drew particular ire from my boyfriend (and he saw it a lot, as this occurred during one of the seasons where the Brewers and Cards slugged it out for the division title and then played a playoff series). However, I believe this is the first recorded instance of my boyfriend recognizing a player who was not formerly with St. Louis or New York after he changed teams, without some prompting on my part. Poor Jerry.

Happy Friday!

2013 MLB All Star Game: Shoe Porn Edition

All Stars Lineup

One of my favorite parts of the All Star festivities is the looser uniform restrictions. It reminds me of my days in Catholic school when we had to wear our uniforms on a field trip but could accessorize anyway we chose. Girls would wear crazy earrings and fun shoes with funky socks. We went buckwild, and it’s no different for the boys participating in the All Star Game.

That brings us to this year’s fashion statements. Use your fancy new cleats to jump over the break for some of this year’s best feet accessories.

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Blatant Homerism

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There’s just something about hearing that a pitcher has a no-hitter in play that makes you shed your team loyalty and cheer like mad. That’s how I felt tonight when I received the alert that Reds pitcher Homer Bailey, he who was separated at birth from Christian Bale, was working on his 2nd career no-no Tuesday night against the Giants.

A single career no-hitter is an amazing feat on its own. But two no-hitters, and you find yourself in the company of the likes of Nolan Ryan.

Bailey was perfect through seven, threw a total of 109 pitches, 74 strikes and struck out nine batters.

I doubt I’ll pay any more attention to Cincinnati from here on out. But for tonight, it was fun to cheer for the pitcher who delivered the first no-hitter of this season (and the last one of last season!)

Hit and Run: I Was There Edition

I moved and changed jobs almost simultaneously this spring. As a result, I’m off the academic schedule for the first time in over a decade and it’s throwing off my whole concept of summer. So Tuesday night I went to check on the Cardinals score and discovered, to my dismay, that they had just finished one of the two games they are playing in NYC that I could actually attend.  Luckily, they were playing the Mets, which isn’t exactly a tough ticket to get at the last minute these days. So Wednesday night, my boyfriend and I headed out to Citifield, where around the actual game action, my blog post wrote itself.

First off — paper all star ballots!  Nostalgia!  Also, once we had established that I somehow didn’t have a writing implement in my purse, we discovered that the plug end of a pair of headphones is actually the perfect tool for punching the holes out of the ballot.

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The hardest part about filling these out was trying to remember who was on the disabled list, particularly in the AL. (That’s not a Yankees joke — entirely.)  Then we put them in the ballot box to be buried under everyone’s 35-per-person internet ballots. I’m still looking forward to the All-Star Game if only because I was out of town when it was at old Yankee the last time, and since both the marathon and Fleet Week were canceled this past year, we’ve been lacking in the crowds-of-people-in-uniforms-descending-on-the-city-to-be-ogled department.

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Just before the 7th inning stretch, this happened.  The crowd seemed primarily delighted, with an undercurrent of bemusement.  I certainly think Kidd can handle the in-game/practice side of coaching, but I’m a little unsure how the front office/roster building side is going to go, especially with a front office that can be …mercurial.

The scoreboard proved a great source of entertainment throughout the game.  The consensus in our section was that Matt Holliday has the saddest media photo ever.

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My boyfriend’s comment: “That’s totally an ‘I’m going to go 0-4 and we’ll lose by 5,’ face.”  So perhaps he’s not sad, he’s just psychic.

Also appearing on the CitiField board, periodic Stanley Cup Final updates!  I didn’t get a picture, but the updates piqued my interest enough that even though the 2 hour and 40 minute game time got us home well before 11, we then stayed up past 1 watching the 6th longest Stanley Cup game in history.

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Happy Friday! Anyone else going to a game this weekend?

What I’m reading this week

So I know there are apps and other ways to handle “clipping” things from Twitter and your mobile phone, but when I am scrolling through and see a link that intrigues me, I just email myself the tweet. There’s no need to remember to check another app or anything like that – I’m in my inbox a hundred times a day. It’s a little old-school and probably a little silly, but it’s my comfort zone and I’m owning it.

Anyway, I realized this week I’d sent myself quite a few links, so I thought I’d pass along some of the stuff I found interesting recently:

This ESPN piece trying to understand Italian soccer, hooligans and racism is just beautifully written. The subject matter is baffling, but this is a read that’s totally worth your time. Long form journalism at it’s finest.

Carlos Gomez is having a heck of a year and he’s played enough places that I think you’ll find this interesting: if you hit a ball to center field in Miller Park, the odds are not in your favor that you’ll actually get a hit. According to ESPN.com, of 35 balls hit to straightaway CF, just one of them resulted in a hit. Carlos Gomez has caught 97% of those balls. The major league average is 78%.

But you already knew Gomez was a plus (plus) defender. This year (and the end of last season) he has also figured out how to hit for power. Turns out, his coaches just didn’t know how to harness all his skills before and were pigeonholing him as a ground-ball hitting speedster. 

Did you watch the USWNT play Canada two weeks ago? I have re-watched this Alex Morgan goal a ton of times and I’m still in awe of her first touch. Also, the first few “not touches” if you know what I mean

If you didn’t read this amazing profile of Britney Griner, you should. Great insight into a ground-breaking woman. I don’t watch basketball, but she will always get a hearty “you go girl” from me .

Deadspin ran this excerpt which tells the tale of meeting and hanging out with Muhammed Ali, which on it’s own is just stupendously cool. But then it led to commentors telling stories of randomly meeting with Ali and then I had many warm fuzzies.

That was my first intro to The Stacks at Deadspin. Talk about a rabbit hole. Do yourself a favor and go for a scroll. So much good reading.
Former Badger Hockey player Hilary Knight is probably my all-time favorite. Hard to explain, but I’m still heart-broken she never won the Patty Kaz, especially because her taking time off to play for the US in the 2010 Olympics likely had something to do with that. In those same Olympics it was said she likely has the best shot in the game – she was a Junior in college at the time. Anyway, she plays in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and won their inaugural season MVP. Here’s an interview with her.

In the only vaguely sports related department:

There’s a gorgeous old hotel in Downtown Milwaukee that most visiting sports teams stay at. It’s supposedly haunted. The stories are apparently varied and widespread enough that ESPN the Mag did a story about it. Read all about the Pfister.

I’m a Twitter fiend. I’ll admit it. Yet there is only one account I check in on multiple times daily to make sure I haven’t missed anything – @DUPorterhouse.
Porterhouse is the live bulldog mascot of Drake University in Iowa. He’s a rescued bulldog, winner of the Most Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake and very, very photogenic. He’s also an advocate to help end puppy mills bc his native state of Iowa has so many of them.
His mom started him a Twitter account and well, she’s just really good at it. There are tons of adorable pictures and cuteness and Porterhouse consistently makes my day better. He goes to their basketball games and leads them onto the court by chasing the ball. He’s just great.
Seriously, though – here’s a pic of him in Shrek Underoos. Tell me that doesn’t make the whole world better.

From the “not at all about sports” filesL

If you’re a Mad Men watcher and haven’t watched Sunday’s episode, this piece contains spoilers, so be warned. But even if you don’t watch Mad Men, this is a spectacular piece from Tom and Lorenzo that gives a very detailed and interesting cultural look at what it was to be a gay man in 1968.

Hump Day Hottie: Detroit Tigers Rotation

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I recently realized how hot the Detroit Tigers’ starting rotation is. I know I might be late to the party, but until you see them in person, you just don’t realize how beautiful they are. I’m specifically talking about Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer. More so Verlander and Porcello, but Max isn’t too hard on the eyes (that is, if you can get past his weirdly colored ones).

I feel we should honor their hotness with a three-for-one Hump Day Hottie celebration. :)

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Two Short, Unrelated Anecdotes Tangentially Related To Current Sports News

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1. A few days ago, Paul Lukas posted about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s suprisingly robust baseball card collection. I was surprised as many people — even more so because until a month ago, I worked less than 100 yards* from said collection, and my employer had a close working relationship with the Met (though the Burdick collection would have been considered “shiny new toys” by most of my coworkers).  I probably could have even wrangled those connections to get an up close and personal view like Lukas — or at least, get in to see the part of the collection currently on display for free. Ah well. Guess I’ve found a reason to go visit the old neighborhood (especially since the Honus Wagner card is going back on display soon). For now, I’ll just browse the collection online.

2.It was March of 2006, and my entire family was in Memphis for my cousin’s wedding.  It was an evening wedding, so the day of, those of us not in the wedding party did some sight seeing. Naturally, we went to the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks. Just as we started making our way towards the door, my (then college-age, sports journalism major) brother yelped “hey, that’s Bernie Bickerstaff!”  I looked up to see a stream of extremely tall men in Charlotte Bobcats warm ups filing through the door, on their way back from morning shootaround before their game against the Grizzlies that night.  My brother, who still would consider an NBA play by play gig his dream job, named off every player as they came through the door (I only recognized Brevin Knight and Sean May).  As we left the hotel and walked up the street, he was practically bouncing. “Man, that was so cool!” he said. Then he paused. “Too bad it was the Bobcats.”

If that does not sum up the Bobcats era of Charlotte basketball, I don’t know what would.  Here’s hoping reclaiming the Hornets resurrects a bit of their dignity.

*I just spent about 10 minutes trying to think of a good baseball distance analogy and gave up. It is Friday of a three day weekend and I haven’t had even a sick day off work since February. Brain. Fried.

Brooks Laich Melts My Heart

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Chris Gordon/Russian Machine Never Breaks

So this happened on Monday. I absolutely love when my sports worlds collide, but I especially love it when my hockey world meets my Baltimore world. Being that my hockey team resides in a different city than my own, I love seeing the Caps doing things in Baltimore.

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Who do we love? Kevin Durant, David Robertson and WVU Baseball

First off, we send our love and thoughts and prayers to all affected by the events of the past few days (I say “days” knowing that other states have been reeling from these terrible storms). Knowing that we have team members with close ties to Oklahoma, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this has been, and as such, I find it hard to post about anything cheerfully sporty under the circumstances. But to paraphrase the great Fred Rogers, when terrible things happen, you look for the helpers. Here’s a few worth mentioning today: Continue reading

How the Brewers alienated their female fans and regressed to 1958 or so…

I thought I posted this last night, so my apologies for being late to get this to you all, but if you follow me on Twitter, you’d have seen me ranting the past two days about an even the Brewers are putting on called Brewed for Her. That event, in and of itself, doesn’t thrill me, but to each her own. Unfortunately for the Brewers, it’s not as simple as that and it made me ranty to the tune of about 3300 words.

Won’t you please come over and check it out?

Brewers Brewed for Her Event: Sexist, Offensive and Just Really Bad Marketing

I had planned to post my diatribe here, but was lucky enough to be able to post out to BrewCrewBall, the SBN Brewers blog I contribute to. While I know I’ve got my target audience of upset female sports fans here, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try to enlighten a new group of folks. Nor could I pass up the chance that someone in the Brewers Org would see it.

I have been overwhelmed by the support (and lack of negativity) and kind words I’ve received from many corners of the internet since publishing this piece over there yesterday afternoon. I’d love to here from you ladyfolk that put up with this sort of thing on a regular basis, though.

Memories of Royals broadcaster Fred White

The Royals announced on Wednesday that former radio broadcaster Fred White died of complications from melanoma. This came just 24 hours after White announced that he’d be retiring from his post-broadcasting role with the team, which was to help build up and maintain the vast Royals Radio Network.

Fred White. Picture from the Kansas City Star.

I grew up with two parents and three older brothers, so it’s not like I was lacking for childhood presences. But Fred White, along with Denny Mathews, were a profound staple of my childhood summers. Continue reading

Fun Minor League stats from Opening Day (SQUEE)

Yesterday was Opening Day in Minor League Baseball, which is like Christmas Part III (after MLB Opening Day, and actual Christmas).

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Will Smith, strike-outer and high-fiver of many.

A big story was Jurickson Profar finally making an appearance at AAA, after skipping straight up to the Majors from AA last year. He went 2-3, which is nice, but hardly the most interesting-looking line of the night.

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Opening Day Moments That Made Us Smile (so far)

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Mo’s last Opening Day. Insert heaving sigh here.

Never mind that it was Easter weekend. Opening Weekend made it more like Christmas Day at the Bee Household, just as I expect it may have been for you this past long weekend. (True story: we spent Sunday morning watching the replay of Yankees-Army at West Point on MLB.tv via Apple TV. And it was glorious.)

While it wasn’t such a great day for my Yankees – and please, let’s all just calm down, alright? – there was so much to celebrate. For one, I was glad to see Francisco Cervelli back in the regular lineup and having a decent outing at the plate, and hearing the Yankee faithful bellowing YOOOOOOOOUUUUK! (Suck it, Boston. He’s OURS now!) For Boston fans, seeing a strong outing from Jon Lester at Yankee Stadium was likely pretty uplifting. Maybe we don’t need to relegate them to the AL East basement just yet.

Here are a few other moments that may have brought a smile to your face:

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MLB Doesn’t Get The Streaming Thing. Again. Some More.

I have not really been keeping up with the Word Baseball Classic particularly well. The early games of course were over in Asia at odd times (although I have been aware of the hard luck Chinese Taipei team, since a friend who was raised in Taipei has been obsessing on Facebook). But here it is Friday night, there are finally games on in a manageable time zone, and two of those games feature Puerto Rico (featuring Cardinals Yady Molina and Carlos Beltran) and the United States (I am kind of a homer).

And then I tried to hit that little TV icon to “watch live.”

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Some background: I am an MLB.TV premium subscriber, I pay to access regular season baseball on my Roku, laptop, and smarphone. But I don’t have cable.

To add insult to injury, once I made it past the cable screen (I have a sympathetic cable-subscribing boyfriend), I got this:

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Yeah, see all that stuff about the Apple devices you are authorizing?  See anything there about Android devices? Guess what type of smartphone I have? (Also, as near as I can figure, this screen pops up every time you pull up a game. They are not only forcing you to set up an MLB.com account, they’re refusing to remember your log in.)

So, yeah.  Once again, MLB, you have failed basic internet streaming.

So This Happened: MLB Remixes Rihanna’s “Diamonds”

It appears that fans aren’t the only people missing baseball season. This parody, created by MLB, stars Miguel Cabrera and Adam Jones and features a whole slew of supporting MLB figures, including Jim Palmer, Buck Martinez and Luis Gonzalez.

The only thing that would make this better is if we find out that Miguel Cabrera was the one actually singing. Amazeballs.

MLB Photo Day 2013

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Josh Reddick showed off his beard and belt?

One of the best parts of spring training is team photo day! Lucky for us, many teams had their official photo day yesterday giving us some great shots of our favorite guys. (I suggest thumbing through the Getty Images’ photo gallery.) As I was perusing through the pictures, I came across some real gems, including the insanely crazy picture of Josh Reddick above. I did some Googling and found out there was a story behind the photos.

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TGIF: Presidents’ Day Weekend Edition

Did you know the Washington Nationals have traditionally held Racing President auditions on Presidents’ Day?  This year, however, auditions are postponed a week so fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt and new racer William Howard Taft can race to Mount Rushmore.  They start today — follow all the action on the Nats Twitter feed! (That’s totally what you wanted to do this weekend, right?)

Good snacks for bad kitchens: Peanut butter chocolate bananas

My kitchen is terrible. The oven is never the temperature it’s supposed to be, and the one big burner on the stove likes to shut off at random times. I can’t make most of the things I find on Pinterest* but here’s one thing I did make: Chocolate- and peanut-butter bananas.

*Did you hear? We’re on Pinterest!

STEP ONE: Take your laptop into the kitchen and fire up an episode of Friday Night Lights.

Gratuitous Tim Riggins. Not sorry.

Totally sports-related.

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Hope Springs: Pitchers and Catchers Report!

Aren’t you impressed that I refrained from using a caps locky title with multiple exclamation points? BUT IT WAS SO TEMPTING!!!!

Monday was the big day for pitchers and catchers from several MLB teams to report. Others, like my Yankees, report Tuesday. And then you have those like my second husband Derek Jeter recovering from surgery and other ailments who have been at their respective training facilities for a while. All this to say HOORAY FOR BASEBALL’S WELCOME RETURN! How about a photo essay?

Let’s start with new Jay R.A. Dickey, who is kind of an awesome human being in case you weren’t aware. It’s going to be tough cheering against this new AL East foe.

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There’s something about a maple leaf on R.A. Dickey’s hat that makes him even more endearing. (Canadian Press photo)

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Advent Calendar of Hotness Day 17: Eric Hosmer

Time for my homer pick! Apparently Eric Hosmer has only been mentioned on this site one time in history, and it was when he was too young for the Ladies… to officially think he was attractive. Life sucked then. But this is now, so let’s DO THIS.

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From his very brief stint in my town, in front of my camera.

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Hanukkah Hunks Night 5: Sam Fuld

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I’m pretty sure Tampa Rays outfielder Sam Fuld isn’t human. He has to be part flying squirrel for the way this man is able to field. I’m serious. Not only is he a bonkers ball player, but I find him, his scruff, and his baby blues to be quite irresistible. If you aren’t already a fan of The Legendary Sam Fuld, hopefully these next few shots will sway you…

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Lady Bee’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: MLB Sleeper Stocking Blanket

A quasi-regular feature for the month of December in which Lady Bee provides you with gift ideas you won’t find in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.

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It’s a blanket! It’s a stocking! It’s…the hell?!!

I’m guessing the Snuggie has lost its appeal now that you can find it at your local Dollarama. This would be where the attractive stocking blanket comes in. Why settle for merely a blanket or *shudder!* a throw, when you can pretend you are a live human stocking stuffer? And why settle for just any stocking, when you can declare your love for the Yankees (or Phillies, or Red Sox. Sorry, Nationals fans.) with this: a 69-inch polyester stocking with arm and leg holes, so you don’t feel like a caterpillar?

Currently $15.97 at shop.mlb.com. Cheesy, yes, but it will keep you warmer than this.

Hanukkah Hunks: Night 1

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Happy Hanukkah to my fellow Heebs! As sundown approaches this evening, I’m happy to continue the Ladies… tradition of recognizing excellence in the world of Jewish athleticism and kick it off right with one of our old favorites – I’m sure the masses will approve…

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